Hepatitis is most often caused by one of several viruses. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Unlike Hepatitis A, which does not cause a long-term infection, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can cause chronic, life-long infections. More than 5 million Americans are living with chronic Hepatitis B or chronic Hepatitis C, but most do not know they are infected.
Chronic hepatitis can cause serious liver problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. People with chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C have the greatest risk of liver cancer. In fact, more than 60 percent of liver cancer cases are associated with Hepatitis B or C.
About two in three people with Hepatitis B do not know they are infected and the most commonly affected people in the US are Asian Americans (1 in 12). About 50 percent of people with Hepatitis C do not know they are infected and three in four people with Hepatitis C were born from 1945-1965. The CDC encourages those in high risk groups to get tested for hepatitis.
- The CDC has a handy tool to determine hepatitis risk http://www.cdc.gov/ hepatitis/riskassessment/index.htm.
- For more information about viral hepatitis visit http://www.cdc.gov/ hepatitis/riskassessment/index.htm.
For a limited time, Public Health has state supplied Hepatitis A and B vaccines for $20 per dose. If you are: age 19 and older and a Wyoming resident, we can immunize you for a reduced cost. Call our offices to schedule an appointment for your vaccinations. We can also draw blood to test for immunity if you are not sure if you have had the vaccine series before or if you think you may have been exposed to Hepatitis. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for a blood draw.